Mintel Shows 36% Struggle Paying Bills

A new
consumer survey from market intelligence Provider Mintel says 36% of Americans claim to have had
trouble paying their bills in the past two years. Women struggled with their debt more than men: 39% said they had trouble
during the last two years compared to 33% of men. People aged 25-44 and
black survey respondents also reported more difficulty than the general
population (42% of 25-34 year-olds, 48% of 35-44s and 53% of black consumers). In
addition, adults living in urban and rural areas were more likely to
struggle when compared to those living in suburban areas.
Less than half of those in trouble with debt reached out for help (37%).
Going directly to their credit card or mortgage lender was the most
common avenue: 28% of respondents said they went to their credit
card-issuing bank, while 24% went to their mortgage lender to seek help.
Still, more than one-third sought assistance from a credit counseling or
debt consolidation service.

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TSYS PREPAID

As a founding member of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), TSYS has reported an increasing momentum of the PIF Brazil and India chapters following the successful engagement of members, the first formal exchange on prepaid best practices, legislation and business models between the two countries. The PIF Brazil chapter brings together a diverse member base including payment schemes, issuers, law firms, consultants and distributors to work together in order to actively develop the prepaid market. The PIF India chapter has a broad member base drawn from public sector, private sector and multinational banks. Members of both chapters are engaging in an interactive dialogue with questions and answers posed by both chapters in conjunction with their rapidly developing markets, in which prepaid cards have a major role to play in serving the unbanked and underbanked. TSYS has more than 10 years experience of providing prepaid processing solutions in a licensing and processing capacity and extends to more than 300 clients across 75 countries.

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Worldwide Merchant Offers High Risk Merchants Processing

Worldwide Merchant
Services is offering high risk merchant accounts to their network of banks worldwide.
These programs are designed to allow high risk merchants credit card
processing capabilities. By acknowledging past financial hardships,
the company’s credibility with the merchant provider rises and the
chances of becoming approved are much greater. If the business’s credit is
subpar, however, and has experiences issues with previous merchant accounts, it might have to
setup a reserve account, which protects the processor from any future
losses. The reserve account for your high risk business will be
calculated as a percentage of a projected average of total sales. This
saves the high risk merchant account from being shut down due to
chargebacks.

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WU & BRANCO BRADESCO

Alternative payment provider NEOVIA Financial Plc has announced
a significant deal with SeeSaw, the new online TV service in the UK to
introduce payment methods for premium content in the
coming months which will be provided by NEOVIA.
The deal with SeeSaw will mean NEOVIA will process all payments made on
SeeSaw.com via its NETBANX international payment gateway. Payment
options will include credit and debit cards and the NETELLER e-wallet.
The phased implementation will include rolled-up payments, subscription
billing, Direct Debit and streaming micropayments via the NETELLER e-wallet.
SeeSaw launched in the UK on 17 February 2010 providing TV fans with a
free, high quality archive and catch-up TV service. Later this year
SeeSaw will announce its pay launch which aims to have an additional
2,000 hours of premium content.
The NEOVIA Payment Suite features the NETBANX international payments
gateway, the NETELLER e-wallet and Net+™ cards. NETBANX allows merchants
to accept card and non-card payments through multiple channels including
online, contact centres, mail order and via automated phone systems. The
NETELLER e-wallet allows consumers to spend securely online as well as
allowing merchants to increase customer lifetime value. Net+ cards allow
merchants to extend customer loyalty and lifetimes. As well as cards,
the NEOVIA Payment Suite supports online payments direct from consumers’
online bank accounts.

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TSYS Champions Prepaid Development in Brazil and India

As a founding member of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), TSYS has reported an increasing momentum of the PIF Brazil and India chapters following the successful engagement of members, the first formal exchange on prepaid best practices, legislation and business models between the two countries. The PIF Brazil chapter brings together a diverse member base including payment schemes, issuers, law firms, consultants and distributors to work together in order to actively develop the prepaid market. The PIF India chapter has a broad member base drawn from public sector, private sector and multinational banks. Members of both chapters are engaging in an interactive dialogue with questions and answers posed by both chapters in conjunction with their rapidly developing markets, in which prepaid cards have a major role to play in serving the unbanked and underbanked. TSYS has more than 10 years experience of providing prepaid processing solutions in a licensing and processing capacity and extends to more than 300 clients across 75 countries.

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FRAUD PROTECTION

Visa will be hosting a free fraud prevention seminar for seniors on
Thursday, March 11, 2010 at the Spencer House in Halifax. Seniors are
all too frequently the targets of fraudsters, and new survey results
from Visa show that many are engaging in unsafe behaviours that put
their personal financial information at risk to criminal and data
thieves. This information session will focus on educating seniors about
safe financial practices, as well as equip participants with the tools
and know-how to protect themselves and their identities.

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TSYS Acquiring Solutions Names New President

Mark D. Pyke has been named president of TSYS Acquiring Solutions. Bringing with him 26-years’ experience in the payments and financial services industry, he joins TSYS in conjunction with a joint venture agreement between the company and First National Bank of Omaha, forming First National Merchant Solutions and allowing TSYS a top-10 presence in the merchant acquiring market in the United States. Pyke most recently served as president of Bank of America Merchant Services in Louisville, Ky after serving as COO & executive VP for National Processing Company. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan. TSYS is one of the world’s largest companies for outsourced payment services.

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Moody’s Reviews FNBO for Possible Downgrade

Moody’s Investors Service has placed on review
for possible downgrade seven classes of asset-backed securities issued
out of the First National Master Note Trust.
These securities are backed by $2.7 billion of consumer credit card
receivables originated and serviced by First National Bank of Omaha
and its affiliates. On February 9, 2010, Moody’s downgraded FNBO’s long-term deposit rating
to Baa1 from A3, and reduced its bank financial strength rating (“BFSR”)
to C- from C. Following the downgrade, Moody’s left FNBO’s outlook
negative. The downgrades were driven by the company’s
weaker-than-anticipated asset quality, as well as concerns about its
capital position in light of the losses Moody’s expects on its loan
portfolio. Moody’s review will assess FNBO’s efforts to mitigate charge-offs,
increase yield or take any other action to increase excess spread and
maintain FNMNT as an ongoing financing vehicle for its credit card
portfolio. Furthermore, in light of the recent downgrade of FNBO’s
deposit and BSFR ratings, Moody’s will reassess whether FNBO’s
willingness and ability to maintain card utility under stressed scenarios
are consistent with the current credit enhancement and ratings on the
FNMNT transactions.

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ABA Offers Gift Card Safety Tips

Consumers lost nearly $5 billion in misplaced or unused gift cards. In response, the ABA Education Foundation is warning consumers to “Use it or Lose it” with its tips on using gift cards wisely. When buying gift cards, only buy from reputable sources; check for an expiration date before purchasing; consider practicality (grocery store, gas station, etc); and understand policies and fees before purchasing. When using gift cards, keep in a secure place to avoid misplacement; spend within the first year to receive the full value; consider swapping unwanted cards at card-swapping and card-selling sites; and regift cards unused or with minor balances to charities who distribute them to the needy.

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Alliance Financial & NAFCU Offers Webcast Insight on CU Cards

NAFCU Services and Alliance Financial have released a free webcast that gives an overview of how market
evaluations are improving credit union card programs today. It offers consumers
an inside look at industry trends and how credit unions
“stack up,” why payment cards are important to credit unions, and how to create a successful payment card
program. The two organizations plan to discuss the topic in more depth at NAFCU’s
Strategic Growth Conference in March. NAFCU Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National
Association of Federal Credit Unions and has partnered with the industry’s leading solutions providers to offer
value-added products and services at a discount to credit unions.
Alliance Financial Services helps credit unions grow through a greater
understanding of the opportunities presented by the payments industry.
Alliance provides growth recommendations and facilitates strategic
partnerships for credit and debit card programs.

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Paybefore Awards U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa

The U.S. Bank “ReliaCard” Visa was honored as the “Best Government-Funded Program” at the 2010 Paybefore Awards, which recognize the best products and programs in the prepaid business.
U.S. Bank was selected by a panel of five industry experts who served as judges for this year’s competition. The U.S. Bank “ReliaCard” Visa is a reloadable card designed to replace costly paper checks for government agencies with recurring disbursement activities, such as child support or unemployment insurance. Cards are issued through a partnership with state agencies, and cardholders can use the cards everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted worldwide. U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions is one of the nation’s leading providers of payment processing, issuing and advisory services.

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Americans Using Tax Refunds to Improve Finances

The majority of middle-class consumers are planning to put their tax refunds towards savings and paying down debt, with 78% planning to fund savings, investments, prepaying major bills or debt reduction. This, compared to the 2009 tax season when 45% planned to put the money into savings and investments and 40% planned to pay off debt, according to the First Command “Financial Behaviors Index.” Additional findings show 27% of respondents will spend refund dollars on a vacation, dining out, home improvement or other consumer purchases. Many consumers have resolved to cut back on excessive spending (40%), get out of debt (35%) and use cash or debit cards more often instead of credit cards (29%).

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